ST. PAUL, Minn. - A nearly six-week long nurses strike in the Twin Cities is coming to an end.
On Thursday, a majority of the striking nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association voted in-favor of a tentative agreement with Allina Health.
Nurses from Abbott Northwestern, Mercy, Phillips Eye Institute, United, and Unity hospitals voted to ratify the contract Thursday.
"This contract represents compromise and strength by the nurses," said MNA Executive Director Rose Roach. "While it's nowhere near what nurses deserve, they can hold their heads high. They can rest easy knowing they won a 'no diminishment' clause, so even though they are moving to the corporate health insurance plans, they have assurance that the value of their benefits won't be reduced in any future cost-cutting scheme."
Nurses will pull the strike notice and return to their jobs by 7 a.m. Sunday.
In a joint statement, Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said, “Minnesota's nurses are on the front lines of health care, where they work tirelessly and professionally to take care of all of us. We are grateful that the members of the Minnesota Nurses Association have ratified this contract and will return to work soon, and we are grateful this long and painful strike has ended. We again thank the leaders and negotiating teams representing the Minnesota Nurses Association and Allina Health for working so hard to resolve this very challenging dispute.”
Earlier this week, Dayton and Smith encouraged both sides to make a deal which they did following a 17-hour negotiating session.
Allina Health issued the following statement late Thursday: "Tonight, the Minnesota Nurses Association announced that Allina Health nurses have voted to ratify the agreement reached with the union earlier this week. We appreciate the nurses’ ratification of the agreement. On Sunday morning, October 16, at the 7 a.m. shift change, Allina Health nurses will return to the bedside, as we continue to provide high-quality care to our patients and communities."